I don't drive my car very much. I probably put maybe 300 miles a month on it. Do I need to change the oil if my car is sitting most of the time? During the winter I drive even less. I do go out and start it up and let it run for a little while every so often. It is a 1988 Honda Accord.


3 Answers 3


Yes, you should - especially if it is only having short runs - that is why either distance or time intervals are given.


You should change the oil and filter annually if you don't drive enough to meet the mileage interval. If you are going to let it idle during the winter there are a few precautions. If your garage is attached to your house move the car out of the garage. If your garage is a separate building at the least leave the door open. In either case don't sit in the car. Even a 1988 Honda in excellent condition can develop an exhaust leak that could lead to carbon monoxide entering the cabin. Let the engine idle to reach normal operating temperature. You want to make sure the oil gets hot enough to vaporize the water that builds up from condensation. The addition of some fuel stabilizer can't hurt as a tank of fuel likely lasts several months.

  • "I probably put maybe 300 miles a month on it." and "a tank of fuel likely lasts several months" -- Taking "several" to mean 3, that's 900 miles or over 1400 km. I'm not familiar with the 1988 Honda Accord, but I get the distinct feeling that you are overestimating either its fuel tank size or how far it gets on a given amount of fuel.
    – user
    Aug 9, 2017 at 11:47
  • 300 miles a month even less during the winter could imply that the fuel is in the tank might sit for 3 months @ 100 miles a month. Most suggest that the shelf life of ethanol blended fuel to be 90 to 100 days. A 1988 Accord is likely to have a carb not fuel injection. This leads to more oil contamination while running with the choke on. Also more likely to have starting issues with stale fuel.
    – mikes
    Aug 9, 2017 at 20:58

If you use a Fully Synthetic oil then it should not break down with age like a mineral oil will.

  • I'm not sure how this answers the OP's question? Also, when you put out answers like this, it's better to include information which substantiates your claim. What you have written here (from my knowledge) seems to be off base. If you have supporting information, I'd be more than happy to read it. Aug 9, 2017 at 13:55
  • Telling the OP to use fully synthetic oil does not answer their question, though. Also, it isn't the oil which degrades, it's the additive package within them which does. Aug 9, 2017 at 14:19

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .